• By: Katie Hartai

Everything He Plays, Turns to Gold

Photo Credit: Scarlet O’Neill

For more than eight years, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Ben Kunder has been writing and producing music every Canadian can relate to. His long awaited debut solo album, Golden, will be released May 26, followed by a number of shows throughout Ontario and Quebec. One of the tour’s final stops is at the Rainbow Room in Ottawa on June 2.

“I am excited for all of the shows because it means I get to play every day,” Kunder says eagerly. “And that is the best.

Kunder has a powerful voice that drives home his music’s impressive melodies and dynamics. His work has often been compared to the likes of Ryan Adams and Jackson Browne.

“It is a sound you would recognize but I think I take a unique approach to the traditional structures and roots of folk music,” explains Kunder.

BenKunder_Golden_CoverArtThe album is produced by John Dinsmore, who has previously worked with Sarah Harmer, Great Lake Swimmers and Elliott Brood. Recorded at Toronto’s Lincoln County Social Club, Kunder (guitar/vocals/piano) was joined by what he calls “some of the finest musicians in Toronto.” A few of these contributors include Brian Murphy (guitar/piano/Wurlitzer), Rich Knox (drums/vocals) and Anna Ruddick (bass/vocals).

“I am very lucky to play with such a high caliber of musicians. Not only are they skilled technically but also creatively,” Kunder says. “It was great to have their insight in the studio and then to see them take my ideas and structures and run with it.”

Get a taste of the album by listening to its single, Half Moon, here.

“(The album) has been a couple years in the making and I am just really excited to share it and have it be available for people,” Kunder says.

Against All Odds, the final track on Golden, is his favourite.

“Its got a lot of tone and heart,” he says. “I think the sound and story of the song represents most where I am in my life.”

Right now Kunder is balancing his musical career with a part-time carpentry job.

“I think both in music and what I do on the side, is a labour of love,” he reasons. “You are affecting people’s lives in interesting ways.”

As soon as the Golden release tour wraps up, Kunder will be heading home to await the birth of his child. The staff at Ottawa Life Magazine wish you all the best!